Monday, February 8, 2010

Republican Nonsense

I usually vote for the Republican candidate, because he or she usually has policy positions closer to mine than the Democrat. But sometimes, I vote for a third party or abstain from voting to express my dissatisfaction with both parties’ selections. I think low turn out sends a negative mandate, and I want to participate in giving that message.

Because I’d like to have a say in whom the Republican Party nominates for office, I’m registered as a Republican. (I think NY has closed primaries – and I strongly believe that all primaries should be closed – so it seems to me only right that if one wants to vote in a party’s primaries, one should join the party.) But I don’t believe that “joining” one of our major political parties commits one to that party’s platform or obliges one to defend what that party’s leaders do. Especially, as now, when what that party’s leaders do is indefensible.

I’m the first to argue that BHO has no mandate, that his election was a perfect storm of anti-Bush sentiment, economic collapse, and feel-good expiation of racial taint. But there are things that both parties want to do that the Republicans are refusing to do because it is more important to them that BHO and his party get blamed for things staying bad than that things get better. That strategy is not necessarily objectionable: one can imagine a ruling party so bad that getting them out of power is worth any price. But IMHO, this ain’t that. This is just sore losers trying to get their perks back.

And what good would a “return to power” do the GOP once they’ve established that the role of the minority is to gum up the works? They are destroying the car they want to drive. I hope that BHO presses and succeeds in his efforts to embarrass GOP legislators for standing in the way - for voting against bills they themselves sponsored, for putting "blanket" holds on nominations to extort pork for their districts - all in the cynical expectation that the the majority will be blamed if things don't get better.

Meanwhile, the party leadership continues to act as if Sarah Palin might actually be Presidential material. What better badge of unseriousness can a party have than the adoration of so empty a suit? The 2008 ticket was a match made in Democrat heaven: a Prez with a short life expectancy backed up by a Veep with no qualifications. It’s scary that they won the states they did.

Anyway, one expects Democrats to complain about GOP tactics, but rants by disaffected Republicans like me are less likely to be dismissed as partisan crap. I may be wrong, but I’m not predisposed to be where I am, and that ought to count for something.


  1. Larry- really enjoyed this posting. I have two questions;

    1. In the 3rd paragraph you refer to IMHO, and I don't understand what that means and its context.

    2.In the 4th paragraph, I think the last sentence
    "I hope that BHO’s campaign to embarrass the GOP for standing in the way, for members voting against bills they sponsored, for putting holds on nominations so that they can get pork, and for trying to cripple the government on the theory that the electorate will blame the majority",

    reads as an incomplete thought. Do you hope he succeeds or fails?

  2. Irwin -

    IMHO is blog-ese for "In my humble opinion." I have redone the fourth paragraph.

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. I didn't vote for the same reason, and even considered voting for Obama, and in fact believe the only reason to register for a political party is to keep the more distasteful candidates from winning the primaries, to the best of ones ability.

    Palin is, to me, one of the scariest symbols of the decline of rationality in Democracy in our nation. For every person who believes she can't seriously become President, there's another person out there who thinks she's a breath of fresh air who's going to tell those Washington fat cats what's what, you betcha.

    Many people seem to be taken by her grammatical failings and folksy speech. My fear is that 20 years from now, we'll have a candidate who does all his ads in text-message speak. Is it that big a stretch?


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